Our Mission

The Choralis Foundation was founded by Artistic Director Gretchen Kuhrmann in 2000 to nurture a passion for choral music by offering excellence in choral performance, educational outreach, and professional development opportunities.  The organization sponsors two auditioned ensembles, offers education programs for both youth and adults, and is the creator and long-time sponsor of the Greater DC Area Choral Excellence (Ovation) Awards, which recognize excellence in the field of choral music across Metro DC.  Choralis also sponsors an annual Young Artist Competition to support emerging vocal soloists, and offers a Conducting Fellowship to assist young conductors with broadening their experience.

Overview of Our Ensembles

The ensembles are: Choralis, a 110-person mixed-voice chorus with a paid professional core as well as High School Singing Scholars and Ēchos, a 20-member chamber ensemble drawn from the ranks of Choralis.


Lauded by reviewers for The Washington Post and other publications, Choralis annually presents a season of choral masterworks as well as works by contemporary composers and world music.  Recent performances have included Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Verdi’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as the world premiere of Bob Chilcott’s Gloria.


Ēchos is known for exceptional musicality and artistry, with a sound described by The Washington Post as “…full-bodied and thrilling.”   The ensemble performs a wide range of choral repertoire and styles each season.

High School Singing Scholars Program

The High School Singing Scholars (HSSS) Program is a hallmark of Choralis and the most comprehensive program for high school singers offered by any Washington, DC-area chorus.  Each year we accept 12 talented high school singers who then participate and perform as full members of Choralis for the entire season. The scholars also spend dedicated time with members of the artistic team to provide further learning opportunities and mentoring.  All scholars receive a full waiver of Choralis dues.  In addition, two exceptional singers are selected as the Brimberry Scholar and the J. Reilly Lewis Scholar, and receive additional benefits. Students interested in participating in the HSSS program should send an email to: auditions@choralis.org.